The People of the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy On

WISL Staff

Mike Boll

Mike Boll traces his interest in science back to high school, when his chemistry teacher introduced him to a book of experiments by Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri. Often staying after school to try out experiments, and traveling from his high school north of Milwaukee to see the annual Christmas Lecture, Mike calls Dr. Shakhashiri his “chemistry hero.”

The interest sparked by these experiments led Mike to Madison, where he first enrolled in the Chemical Engineering program and then switched his major to Chemistry. His last year of undergrad he enrolled in the Science is Fun class, working alongside Dr. Shakhashiri to give presentations much like the ones that piqued his interest years ago.

Mike’s chemistry education continued at UW through both a Master’s Degree in Dr. Shakhashiri’s group and a teaching degree, and he is currently teaching chemistry classes at Niles West High School in Skokie, Ill. Not surprisingly, Mike integrates many experiments into his teaching, and sponsors extracurricular activities including Science Olympiad and Recycling Club.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys snowboarding, biking, ultimate frisbee and growing herbs and vegetables in his garden. He returns to Madison periodically to assist in a variety of WISL programs including home experiments, workshops, and public presentations. He lives in Evanston with his wife, two sons, and two dogs.

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